IPA is Dead Lives: BrewDog's World Hop Tour
IPA is Dead Lives!
The BrewDog world hop tour is back for an encore!
By Gregory Benson of BrewDog Glasgow
Last year we took some of our favorite hops and gave them their moment in the spotlight, their chance to shine as the tangy, bitter loveable stars we knew they were born to be. The result was the IPA is Dead Series, a collection of single hops from all over the globe, and the outcome was a roaring success. Our world hop tour spanned four continents and was greeted by all-around fanfare, with a hint of skepticism thrown in from some of the duller classes (“You punks and your hops,” was overheard from certain corners. “Turn that flavor down, I can’t taste the dullness!”)
But, as all good thing do, the IPA is Dead tour came to an end. There were just over things we wanted to do, like brew a beer in the North Sea and drive a tank through the streets of London. But now that we’ve got that out of our systems it’s time to once again light up the stages and give some brand new hops their chance to step up to the big time. We’ve bid goodbye to the old headliners and have a cracking new lineup for IPA is Dead II, with Galaxy, Motueka, Challenger and HBC hops primed to conquer the world stage, with your humble bartender playing MC.
The experiment, as before, is simple: Four single hops start out with the same malts, the same ABV, the same IBUs, the same everything, except that each one is made with a different hop strain to showcase their individual character and talent. Beginning as a little brother to our Hardcore IPA, these 7.5% base brews get hit with Marris Otter, Crystal Malt and Caramalt before they’re kettle hopped and double dry hopped to bring out the individual intensity of our four new opening acts. So crack one open to treat your senses to the pure 100% bad-assitude of IPA is Dead. It’s science! It’s art! It’s undeniably punk, and as always, it’s abrasively tasty beer.
The playbill of tasting notes, courtesy of your humble bartender:
Crikey! Galaxy is first up on this, the second leg of our world hop tour and it is one hell of an opening act. With all the rich grapefruity flavor you can expect from the land down under Galaxy backs up its strong citrusy aroma and taste with a nice mellow undercurrent of something a little more tropical, possibly passion fruit or maybe a nice mango, if you’re feeling fancy that is. Zingy and sweet but not too sweet, Galaxy is instantly friendly and drinkable, with a nice crisp hoppy pop that can keep it Ayers Rockin’ all night long.
Galaxy’s Kiwi cousin. From the far-away islands of New Zealand (incidentally even further down under than the land down under) Motueka has flavor to spare. Lemon and lime rise to the top of this hoppy brew, with supporting acts of tropical fruit for a very rounded, thoroughly satisfying flavor. In fact, between you and your humble bartender here, if you look really closely you can even detect a thin toffee strain too. Long story short, were this beer to meet you on the street, it would almost certainly talk to you in its funny accent and straight away want to be pals.
Herbs! Shrubbery! Earl Grey and English Gardens! Challenger is our stop on the UK leg of this tour and it is veddy veddy British, don’t you know. Not in the stuffy Victorian sit-up-straight-and-chew-your-food-proper sort of way (of course) but the my-goodness-gracious-but-that-is-bitter-and-I-love-it! sort of way. Big hits of lemon and herb define this very fresh, unabashedly crisp IPA. So, while James Bond is busy selling out and sipping uninspired not-to-be-named lagers, Challenger can be enjoyed by more cultured individuals on a well-trimmed lawn, alongside a nice toasty or cucumber sandwich.
Easily the most enigmatic brew in our curious quartet, HBC hails from North America, and like its homeland, this little guy is a curious mixture of just about everything. A rich fruity flavor with the tiniest layer of candy coating on top, HBC has notes of blueberries, pear, and possibly even sweet potato. In fact, your humble bartender has even heard one satisfied patron remark that he could taste hints of a nice rare steak. Since the customer is always right I’ll have to give him the benefit of the doubt on that one, although personally, I still can’t quite see it.
As always we want to hear from you - what was your favourite and why?
The IPA is Dead beers is currently available on draft in all BrewDog Bars. We will also be brewing an IPA is Dead Medley 2012 combining all 4 hops in a single beer available in late May.